Articles | Volume 13, issue 7
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-13-1877-2019
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-13-1877-2019
Research article
 | 
11 Jul 2019
Research article |  | 11 Jul 2019

Buoyant forces promote tidewater glacier iceberg calving through large basal stress concentrations

Matt Trevers, Antony J. Payne, Stephen L. Cornford, and Twila Moon

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Short summary
Iceberg calving is a major factor in the retreat of outlet glaciers of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Massive block overturning calving events occur at major outlet glaciers. A major calving event in 2009 was triggered by the release of a smaller block of ice from above the waterline. Using a numerical model, we investigate the feasibility of this mechanism to drive large calving events. We find that relatively small perturbations induce forces large enough to open cracks in ice at the glacier bed.